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I answered this L of A a few questions above.
I saw the 4 digital restoration on a movie screen- it looks great. No matter what disc version you have, it is not the same as looking at 70mm film. If it is shown again somewhere….
What I saw, was that the original colors were restored. I wrote this in 2017 for the 70mm newsletter after seeing a brand new 70mm print (at the Museum of the Moving Image) made from the 2012 restoration of Lawrence of Arabia:
Visually, this 70mm new print was astonishingly beautiful. The sharp 70mm resolution and the 70mm details were stunning. The restored colors were truly vibrant. The awesome 1989 restoration had looked good, with a beige colored dessert, but that same desert was often glowing in orange now in this restoration. Every frame of the movie popped in glorious color and detail. The sound was excellent. Surround sound was strong, from the “echo chamber” in the mountain valley to battle scenes. This screening of this epic film was exhilarating.
Sept 1997 was the Lawrence of Arabia 70mm, thanks to Al Alvarez earlier posting- I wish Al would post from the year 2000 to now. The Harris restoration was originally shown in 1989 at the Ziegfeld. The most recent restoration in 70mm dates to 2012 & is glorious!
August 29, 2019 Spectrum News NY1 article has a video & a wonderful recollection! (I myself was lucky enough to have seen Hamlet in 70mm at the Paris, and wish I would have the chance to see L of A in 70mm there)
“The Paris Theatre was the last single screen, jewel box movie theater in Manhattan. It had a balcony, it had a purple curtain that opened up with the little ripple as the light of the projector hit it,” said Joseph Fusco, former Paris Theater manager. Fusco managed the Paris from 1997 to 2000. He shared pictures of the interior of the 581 seat theater with NY1, even a program from its opening night in 1948.His favorite memory? The re-running of a true Hollywood classic film.“We showed the restored 70 millimeter print of ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ which in this room was absolutely stunning and we had lines down to Sixth Avenue everyday,"
That is a wonderful photo. The Town & Country article about the Paris closing has this photo with credit: Scott McPartland/Getty Images. That sign to the right about a 45 story building refers to the flagship office building that the current owner of the Paris, Sheldon Solow built.
Actually The Joker will be in 70mm at City Cinemas Village East and at City Cinemas 1,2,3.
Reposting from Paris Theatre photo comment by Orlando the following-
The United Palace, when it shows its' monthly movies uses a brand new red velvet, gold trimmed curtain that closes at the movies end.
I have not yet seen a classic at the United Palace but am happy to hear that in addition to its 4k projection & suround sound that it also uses a curtain! Though in Queens, and not a historic auditorium, the Museum of the Moving Image’s Redstone Auditorium uses a beautiful curtain at its movie presentations (usually classic but some new). I fear the Paris landlord either already has a non theater tenant or will gut & then seek one. That’s what the Festival page says he did there, though a difference being that was a non theater turned into a theater.
Though I went to the DC Uptown, with its huge curved screen to enjoy the restored The Lawrence of Arabia and My Fair Lady, and missed Spartacus at both theaters but saw it nicely presented in 70mm at the Worldwide, I saw the 35mm restored Funny Girl here & it was terrific! Screen was fine for Funny Girl, for me.
V Young posted at the Ziegfeld page-
from the NYTimes 4/24/55: re VistaVision installation: “The screen now used at the Paramount is 64 by 35 feet…”
The Jewish Voice 9-1-19 article “iconic Paris Theatre in NYC Closes Its Doors After Seven Decades” finished with “The theater has been a destination for many of the city’s intellectuals and movie connoisseurs, as motion pictures by directors including Federico Fellini and Franco Zeffirelli have been shown.”
Seth, I’ve seen movies at London’s Gate Notting Hill & agree it is a wonderful “cinema treasure.” Thanks for mentioning the 45% decrease article, which I just read. I also saw a Twitter feed of comments to the NYTimes Paris article with, again, many people upset at the theater’s closing and also like me upset at the article, some of those posting blaming backbiting in the NY arts community for the negative quotes. Last week, there were many other articles online about the Paris closing, many which I agreed more with. I loved the Town & Country article which included a photo of “Romeo & Juliet” on the marquee & many great quotes- here’s a couple- “It didn’t matter what decade we were in,” recalls Bryan Bantry, an entertainment industry polymath. Bantry’s offices were in a penthouse above the Paris for two decades, and he frequently rented it out for screenings. “Real New Yorkers who loved cinema” were always keen to see the single-screen theater’s latest. (also) In addition to hosting many a New York film premiere and serving up expertly-curated programming, the Paris was a center of gravity for a certain set. “It was a happy place for many people, and we’re always looking for happy places,” Bantry says. He describes the theater’s balcony, which boasted great sight lines; people in the know, he says, always went straight up the stairs. (from Howard- after my 1st several films there, I too, always sat in the balcony!)
Today’s NY Times article has one wonderful quote: “That’s terrible,” said Duncan Hannah, a painter who loved the theater on 58th Street by Fifth Avenue for the French movies and the quality of New York gossip you could overhear in the plush seats.
“It looked like the fancy cinema on an old ocean liner,” Mr. Hannah said. “I crossed the Atlantic to France when I was 14, in 1967, and they had a cinema that looked like the Paris.”
Unfortunately, much of the rest of the focus of that one article is by people questioning when we who loved the Paris actually last saw a movie there? Well, I not only saw Pavarotti there this year, but also enjoyed Never Look Away and Sunset, both subtitled foreign films. Last year, I saw Mary Queen of Scotts, Colette, Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti, and Lean on Pete, in 2017: Victoria and Abdul, Paris Can Wait, Their Finest, and so forth, I saw movies every year for a quarter of a century! I saw my 1st movie at the Paris in 1989 (Crusoe) then in 1995 resuming visits to the Paris (as I don’t live in NYC but in Philly) to see the movie Jefferson in Paris, I saw movies every single year, for a total of 85 movies seen at the wonderful Paris. And, despite the snarky focus of the NY Times, I read the comments of actual film goers online, and understand there were many others who saw every movie or many movies at the Paris. I met some in person while attending movies there & know others here who have. Often those movies that I saw at the Paris were my favorite movies of the year.
Posters here need to remember (and realize when comments are deleted) that this website is not about politics or matters that stray from discussing the movie theaters. If the Paris is gutted or demolished for higher economic returns, that would be a tragic loss of a wonderful, movie theater that properly showed films, and a theater that is a cultural resource for New York. I am heartbroken by its possible loss, as are many other people from comments I read at news stories online of its closing. We must enjoy other historic movie theaters while they last, such as City Cinemas Village East and City Cinemas 1,2,3. I can’t quickly think of other commercial (daily movies, for profit) movie theaters in Manhattan that are historic? other than 42nd St’s AMC Empire using a historic theater as a lobby.
Jason, did you mean to type in your 1st post above, “more than substantial harm” rather than “less”?
1:40 PM matinee “Pavarotti” Photo from the balcony. Other times that day were 11 AM, 4:30 PM, 7:15 PM.
Curmedgeon, I agree totally with your description of the Paris. If you google “Paris Theatre NYC closed” as of yesterday, there’s many new articles & at least a couple TV news videos. In those articles & comments to them & the articles earlier this summer, there are many people upset. Many like me who viewed the Paris as their favorite! There’s also movie distributors upset because the this theater produced a significant percentage of their revenues on a film- the Sony guy said up to one third, and for Pavarotti, 9% though the movie was in 300 theaters! And, there were many special events at the Paris, so more who will be upset. As to the Ziegfeld, it was beloved but often dark (closed) as it was huge & the mainstream movies played everywhere & mainstream movies are not so great anymore. The Paris was never closed (except for transitions to new operators such as more than 2 months in 1997 after Loews/Sony departed and briefly for seat refurbishment 2 years ago). And the movies at the Paris were always worthwhile!
As of yesterday morning, Pavarotti was listed at the Paris as “sold out” at every screening today Wed & tomorrow Thursday, which would not be accurate since it has been showing for more than a couple months. I could be wrong, but my sense was that yesterday were the last screenings.
As of this morning, the City Cinemas website does not list this theater or its sister theater (as the building is owned by the same landlord) the Beekman (the twin that was renamed the Beekman). I do not know whether or not either theater will be reopened by a different theater operator, or not. I hope so.
Today, City Cinemas website does not list this theater (or the Paris). Yesterday at this theater, “Blinded by the Light” and “The Farewell” were splitting a screen (different times). “After the Wedding” was being shown on the other screen. At 10 AM this morning was listed “Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation” but I am not sure that screening will take place. I do not know whether or not this theater will go to a different theater operator or whether it will not reopen.
Seth, thanks for your post! Yesterday morning when I woke, I read it & checked the Paris Theatre website because it is the same landlord as this theater. It looked like yesterday might be the last day for City Cinemas showing movies at the Paris. So though I am in Philly, I went to the Paris because I have been going there for many years to see movies and wished to be there considering news reports earlier this summer that it might be forever closing.
At the 1:30 PM screening today of “Pavarotti” the curtain opened, after having been closed (as always) with music playing. One trailer, “Judy” was shown. The City Cinemas trailer appeared. Then the movie! As the movie finished, the audience applauded, and the curtain closed. Customers asked staff if the theater is closing? I hope the Paris is not closing forever! But from news reports, I fear it might be. The Paris is a very cool place to see excellent films.
“The Joker” is not an art movie like the opening attraction, but all movies were not art movies. The most popular movies from the start were movies like Dracula and Frankenstein. That said, this site isn’t for reviews of individual movies, and not at all for TV or general culture. We can be happy that this movie theater is not only still open, but will showcase The Joker in 70mm.
As their website says, The Joker which seems to have early word as excellent, opens in 70mm on October 4 here. So nobody is surprised, the aspect ratio is “flat” not ‘scope. https://www.citycinemas.com/cinemas123/showtimes-and-tickets/coming-soon